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Full text of "Linguistic Survey Of India Vol Ii Mon Khmer Siamese Chinese Families"

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other Shan tribes of Assam. They have their own priests, and these, as weU as a large
propoition of the laity, are literate, The Khamtl lariguage closely agrees with Northern
8Mn. A large proportion of the vocabulary is common to the two languages. The
alphabets are nearly identical. It will be remembered that the ihoms, unlike the Kham-
tls, have become Hinduised, and are no longer Buddhists.
The Phakials or Phake are said to have left Miing Eang for Assam about 1760
A.D., immediately after the subjugation of the kingdom of Pong by Alomphra. Before
entering Assam they dwelt on the banks of the Turungpani Eiver, and were thus appar-
ently near neighbours of the Tairongs. On reaching Assam, they 'at first resided on the
Buri Dihing, whence they were brought by the A horns, and settled near Jorhat in the
present district of Sibsagar. When the Burmese invaded Assam, they and other Shan
tribes were ordered to return to Mung Kang, and they had got as far as their old settle-
ment on the Buri Dihing when the Province was taken by the British, Their language
closely resembles Khamti, and, like the Khamtls and Tairongs, they are Buddhists. They
seldom marry outside their own community, and, as this is very small, their physique is
said to be deteriorating. They are adepts in the art of dyeing. At the Census of 1891
the total strength of the Phakials was only 565, all of whom inhabited the sadr subdivi-
sion of the Lakhimpur District.1
Nora is the name by which the Hiing Xang Shans are known to the Ahoms, and
frequent references are made to them under that name in the Ahom chronicles. The
persons known to us as Khamjangs or Kamyangs, are a section of that race, who formerly
resided on the Patkoi Eange, but who, like so many of their congeners, were driven to
take refuge in Assam at the beginning of the nineteenth, century by the oppression of the
In the Asdm Buranji we read that the Ahoms were attacked by the Nagas on their
way over the Patkoi at a place called Khamjang, and it may be that this place was also
the early settlement of the section of the Noras who were subsequently known by that
name. The number of Noras counted at the Census of 1891 was 751 (including Kham-
jangs). Nearly all of them live in the Jorhat Subdivision of Sibsagar.2
We have seen that the Northern Shans were always spoken of by the other branches
of the family as the * Tai Long ' (ofc^Sj or ( Great Tais ',   In Shan the letters I and r
are freely interchanged, so that another form of the name is ' Tai Bong ' One section
of the Shans who at various times entered Assam has retained this name, and its members
are now known as Tairongs, Tunings, or Sham (i.e., Shan) Turungs. They are said to.
have immigrated into the Province less than eighty years ago. Their own tradition is that
they originally came from Miing-mang Khau-shang'on the North-East of Upper Burma,
and settled on the Turungpani Eiver, which took its name, 'the Tai-Bong Water ', from
them, While there, they received an invitation from the Noras, who had preceded them
and had settled themselves at Jorhat, and in consequence they started across the Patkoi
en route for the Brahmaputra Valley, They were, however, taken prisoners by the
Kaehios, and made to work as slaves, in which condition they say that they remained for
years, but really, probably3 for a much longer period. They were released by
* The above information is bftsed on tne account of the tribe contained in Mr, Gait's Census Report, pages 283 and £
•Thi abort u based on the aot« on page S84 of Mr. Gait's Census Report,